Like any community, the online quilting and sewing community is not perfect. There has been a bit of a firestorm (about something other than DS Quilts fabric at Joanns) about the nature of that community. Who belongs? Who is left out? What makes a quilter “modern” or “traditional”? Has quilting been “dumbed down” by popular bloggers who create relatively simple quilts? And then a discussion of garden variety frustrations, that happen in any community: cliques, feeling intimidated, some hating on particular patterns/designers/fabric lines.
I have mostly stayed out of the discussion, because I think it is ultimately unproductive, and because I tend to agree with Lee: I have loved being a part of the online quilting community. I don’t think it is particularly negative, or cliquish, or frustrating. If there is a particular blogger that drives me nuts, I just don’t read her/his blog. If there are people whose quilts seem (are) superior to mine, I tend to think it is because they are talented, have worked their tails off, are precise and patient, etc. I know that I have improved leaps and bounds in the last few years.
While I was making this quilt (which I finished before the baby arrived!), I thought a lot about why I sew (and blog), and here is a quick list, in no particular order:
1. Local Friends–this quilt, which reminds me of a strawberry patch, was inspired not by a blogger, but by a quilt my best friend made last year. It was gorgeous, and perfect, and easily my favorite quilt made by anyone all year. I changed up the fabrics and the colors, and it isn’t nearly as lovely as hers was. I am lucky to have tons and tons of friends that sew, and getting together and sewing with them is one of my favorite things in the world.
2. Feedback: Who doesn’t love feedback? Flickr and blogging are a great way to get feedback.
3. Skill building–I have learned SO much over the last few years. Check out the machine binding! It worked.
4. Online friends–I am so looking forward to meeting people I have met online at Quilt Market and the Sewing Summit.
5. I appreciate having a creative outlet. I am not artistic in any other way!
6. I love completing a project. It stays completed. I get satisfaction out of it.
7. Inspiration online–have you ever seen so much talent and beauty in one place?
I’m pretty sure I could go on and on, but I’m late to pick up kids from school.